Upcoming Winter Projects

Howdy folks! With the winter season in full swing here in Kentucky, I’ll be working in the field on a less frequent basis due to the conditions of the roads and trails. We’ve already had two work days called-off by the District Ranger because of adverse weather conditions. Driving is the riskiest activity we do on a regular basis, and the roads in and around the Gorge can be downright perilous this time of year. All of us are required to undergo a defensive driving course and pass a road test in order to operate government vehicles. And there are times when the drive just isn’t worth the risk.

This is a bummer for me, because I love field work and cannot stand to be cooped-up in a “box”. I need to do stuff to keep my brain occupied. My compromise is to spend time in the shop and fix up, maintain, and-or refurbish tools.

Recently, I acquired an old 5 lb Kelly axe head at a bargain I just couldn’t refuse ($23). For most situations, a standard 3.5 lb single-bit axe will do everything you need for trail work…. sometimes a lighter-weight boy’s axe is preferred. A heavier axe, however, can be advantageous when a lot of chopping is required; because of the extra weight, there is increased momentum with each swing leading to greater efficiency when chopping. The disadvantage, of course, is that the axe is more of a burden to carry long distances, and it can be more tiresome to use.

At 5 lbs, this axe is heavier than the Hulk (see post Trail Axe-tion) – I think I’ll name it “Thunder”.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Another project upcoming project is the reconditioning of a single-bucking crosscut saw, which will be arriving soon. This one has perforated lance teeth with a blade length of 4 ft, and doesn’t appear to have seen much use, though it has suffered a broken tooth. Some bits of the “D” handle hardware are missing, but I can replace them. An added bonus is the that it came with an intact “helper” handle. I think this saw has a lot of potential.

I’ll go into more detail as I restore these beauties and upload some more posts.

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